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Canada: Purple vegetables contain more antioxidantsNew research seems to suggest a higher percentage of antioxidants are to be found in purple vegetables. Antioxidants, it is claimed, can lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Dr. Rong Cao of AAAFC and a team at the Guelph Food Research Centre suggest vegetables high in anthocyanins have an even stronger antioxidant activity than other varieties of the same vegetable.
Anthocyanins are the chemicals responsible for the purple colour seen in certain vegetables, such as purple carrots and potatoes. Antioxidants are substances such as vitamin E and vitamin C, or beta carotene, thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation.
Cao's team is now going to lookin into the effects of purple vegetables upon blood sugar levels. ar.
A previous study with Dr. Dan Ramdath, also of the Guelph Food Research Centre, showed that anthocyanins inhibit enzymes such as alpha-glycosidase, which is needed to metabolize sugar. Inhibiting this enzyme slows the rate of glucose production, which helps maintain blood sugar levels, crucial for those living with diabetes.
Root vegetables have an advantage over fruits because they can be a fresh staple in the diet year-round.
Cao's research will be done through collaborative animal and human clinical trials.
Publication date: 2/17/2012
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